(Business in Cameroon) - During the last cocoa year, Cameroon’s production did not reach the 300,000 tons expected by operators in the sectors and the public authorities. It rather dropped by 14% (approximately 38,000 tons in absolute value), going from 269,495 tons for the 2015-2016 cocoa season to only 231,642 tons (less than the 232,530 tons harvested during the 2014-2015 season) at the end of the 2016-2017 cocoa year.
Michael Ndoping, Managing Director of the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (ONCC – Office National du Cacao et du Café) attributes this underperformance not to the discouragement among producers, but rather to illicit exports of Cameroonian cocoa, particularly to neighbouring Nigeria, as well as to the illegal operations carried out by some operators at the port of Douala.
As during previous years, Telcar Cocoa, local trading arm of the American firm Cargill, dominated exports, with slightly over 35% of the total beans sold, mainly to the Netherlands, first destination for Cameroonian cocoa beans (68%).
Regarding prices, the 2016-2017 cocoa year was the worst in the past five years. Between the beginning and the end of the season, the farm gate price per kilogram officially dropped by FCfa 500, going from FCfa1,400 to 900.